All stories by Carole Woddis on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

RICHARD III – Arcola Theatre by Carole Woddis

This was a huge undertaking for somewhere like the Arcola. Big cast plays don’t often surface so it’s a coup for the ever enterprising Mehmet Ergen to not only do one of the most famous …

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

ALL OUR CHILDREN – Jermyn Street Theatre by Carole Woddis

Interesting that two new plays in recent weeks have referred back to Nazi Germany and indirectly to the Holocaust. Whereas Cordelia O’Neill’s fine No Place for a Woman (Theatre503) looks…

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Friday, May 19, 2017

LIFE OF GALILEO – Young Vic by Carole Woddis

Whatever you may think about Bertolt Brecht’s more doctrinaire views, here’s a play in Joe Wright’s visually spectacular, star-gazing production that says exactly what needs to be said…

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Saturday, May 13, 2017

SALOME – National Theatre by Carole Woddis

Really, the kindest thing to do about Yaël Farber’s Salomé is quietly to draw a veil over it. There is bad theatre and then there is very bad acting. Sadly, Farber’s Salomé falls into…

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Friday, May 12, 2017

THE FERRYMAN – Royal Court by Carole Woddis

Already sold out before it had even opened and announced to be transferring to the West End in June, the combination of Jez Butterworth (Jerusalem, Mojo amongst others) and director Sam Mend…

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

NO PLACE FOR A WOMAN – Theatre503 by Carole Woddis

Subtitled `a play with music and movement’, Elliott Rennie’s deep noted cello is the thrilling underscore to Cordelia O’Neill’s mesmerising but enigmatic Holocaust-fringed two hander…

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Friday, May 5, 2017

THE RESISTABLE RISE OF ARTURO UI – Donmar Warehouse by Carole Woddis

Well, to start at the end, I can’t remember a more personally `engaged’ ending than Simon Evans manufactures for the climax of Brecht’s 1940s political satire on the rise of Hitler in …

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

DOGS DON’T DO BALLET – Little Angel Theatre by Carole Woddis

There can be so many ways to get young children interested in ballet. The oldest and sometimes the most archaic of dance art forms, it still has an allure and glitter that rubs off on the yo…

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

WHILE WE’RE HERE – Touring by Carole Woddis

Walking back from the Bush the other evening, I glanced back at the Green and remembered the years when the one-room Bush hovered above a far from welcoming pub, up some uncomfortable and cr…

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

CITY OF GLASS – Lyric Happersmith by Carole Woddis

An existentialist who writes in the film noir/crime thriller genre, a compulsive writer for whom language and its derivations are a vital, never ceasing line of enquiry as a construct that g…

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Friday, April 28, 2017

OBSESSION – Barbican by Carole Woddis

Ivo van Hove is simply everywhere at present, the wunderkind of international theatre and opera. It’s understandable why he is so much in demand. He has a way of envisioning that is either…

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NUCLEAR WAR – Royal Court by Carole Woddis

There’s something refreshingly anarchic about Simon Stephens. In his very long preface to the printed text of Nuclear War, Stephens talks at length about the process of writing this play a…

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Monday, April 24, 2017

SPRING OFFENSIVE – Clapham Omnibus by Carole Woddis

You lose some, you win some: two former libraries now turned into arts centres-cum-community spaces-cum theatres plus Bunker’s Theatre takeover of an underground car park in Southwark Stre…

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HOME TRUTHS – Bunker Theatre by Carole Woddis

Cardboard Citizens are a remarkable success story, especially dealing as they do with those at the sharp end of society, the ones who have fallen through the cracks. For 25 years, Adrian Jac…

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

THE HEARING TRUMPET – The Old Library by Carole Woddis

Surrealism never quite dies. It goes quiet for a while before popping up in times of absurd turmoil and stress to poke fun at and point a delicate, macabre or shocking finger at our absurd a…

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

GUARDS AT THE TAJ – Bush Theatre by Carole Woddis

Soutra Gilmour’s stunning Taj Mahal parapet wall stretches into the far distance creating a Stygian gloom with a channelled, divided stage floor that, it’s true, caught one unfortunate s…

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

THE PLAGUE – Arcola Theatre by Carole Woddis

As Brecht also observed tellingly at the end of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, 1941, shortly being revived at the Donmar, things come round again. Just when you think humans may have lear…

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

UGLY LIES THE BONE – National by Carole Woddis

Women and modern warfare. Women have fought to be treated as equals on the front line. A question of equality. The corollary to that is, they are open to being just as badly injured.

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

INCIDENT AT VICHY – Finborough Theatre by Carole Woddis

That it resonates with our own current hysterias about `fake news’, what is true and untrue, and the threat immigrants appear to pose here, in Europe and in the USA, goes without saying. T…

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

THE LIFE – Southwark Playhouse by Carole Woddis

Even if you’re not a musical aficionado, Michael Blakemore’s production and the way the young cast headed by Sharon D Clarke get hold of and deliver Cy Coleman’s music with Ira Gasman…

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE – Royal Court by Carole Woddis

The really interesting question arising from Simon McBurney’s latest multi-media bonanza is why Robert Evans? The amount of money and artistry lavished on this admittedly important but by …

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HEADS UP – Touring by Carole Woddis

Taken a little time to get here but Kieran Hurley’s 2016 Edinburgh Fringe hit (part of their Made in Scotland showcase 2016) absolutely nails the zeitgeist of our times. With his nervy, ur…

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

NARVIK – New Diorama by Carole Woddis

A man falls to the ground, seriously injured. As he falls, ghosts of the past and his life swim before him. This is the start of Lizzie Nunnery’s extraordinary impressionistic sound pictur…

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

LOST WITHOUT WORDS – National Theatre by Carole Woddis

It’s fashionable these days to rubbish acting and actors and lump them altogether, disparagingly, as `luvvies’. But really we’d be lost without them.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

LIMEHOUSE – Donmar Warehouse by Carole Woddis

Here they are again, `Woy’ Jenkins, Shirley Williams, Bill Rodgers and a whirling dervish of a David Owen. But for the rest of us, Steve Waters has done us great and entertaining service i…

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MADE IN INDIA – Touring by Carole Woddis

A tale of surrogacy, of a western mother renting’ the womb of an Indian village woman, Satinder Kaur Chohan’s three-hander and Katie Posner’s clever, beguiling production provides enor…

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Saturday, March 11, 2017


First we’re ushered into what at first sight appears to be a variation on a classroom. We sit, like pupils, upright, on white stools.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

SPEECH & DEBATE – Trafalgar Studios by Carole Woddis

Ten years on, this teenage 'coming out’, social media/quirky comedy proves a perfect vehicle for the rising star that is Patsy Ferran.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

THE CHERRY ORCHARD – Arcola by Carole Woddis

Terrific Revolution season, Mehmet Ergen has put together at the Arcola. Along with Gorki’s The Lower Depths, a howl of distress from the underbelly of society now sits Chekhov’s The Che…

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

NEW NIGERIANS – Arcola Theatre by Carole Woddis

Following previous and award-winning forays into Nigerian politics ( `Iyà-Ilé – TheFirst Wife, and The Estate), Oladipo Agboluaje’s New Nigerians takes another sharp-eyed, satirical lo…

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Year in Review: Carole Woddis’ top 20 new plays of 2016 (with special praise for the Fringe) by Carole Woddis

Recalling the year past, which is de rigueur for those of us who have spent too many nights in darkened rooms, I’m struck again by the richness and talent of so many shows I’ve seen, par…

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